As the curtains come down on another year, amazing new opportunities are on the horizon for all of us. Whether you are a school leaver preparing to transition to university, the workforce, or another life-changing adventure, or have a new school year awaiting you in 2018, the common denominator is change. There are many ways to rise to and embrace the occasion.
Change is a constant in life; sometimes it feels natural and at other times it can be uncomfortable. In either case, it provides an important and immeasurable chance for self-development and growth. Whatever change is coming your way over the coming weeks and months, you can find security and confidence using the following tips.
Be clear on how much you can control: an important part of coping with change is acceptance. The beautiful serenity prayer is very apt here: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If there are elements of change coming your way that you feel unsure about – you might be uncertain about whether you’ll be able to secure the job you’re aiming for, or perhaps are waiting to find out about qualifying for a course – then putting your fears down on paper and rationalising what is and is not within your control can be very empowering and can help to quieten the ‘noise’.
Embrace hope and positivity: lives that are centered in God are well placed for keeping hope alive. As we live in a constantly evolving, unfinished universe where God’s work continues every day, keeping hope alive in your heart is an important and positive step towards navigating change.
Communicate and connect: God’s love and mercy can be experienced and felt by all when we help each other. Don’t be afraid to share your fears or concerns with friends, family, teachers and colleagues. Many of the special people in your life will be able to relate to what you are going through and can offer you practical advice and coping techniques. In letting your community empower you, you are empowering them – all living creatures are interconnected, and this is a true gift you can rejoice in every day.
Find solace in service: in times of change, you can center yourself by focusing on the things that really matter the most. An important mercy value to live by is ‘Rato/Awhina’ or ‘service’. Learning from Jesus how to put the needs of others first, and to use the gifts we have received to enrich other lives is a liberating and anchoring quality. In times of uncertainty, or if you feel you are losing your way, find comfort in helping and supporting those around you. This will give you purpose, focus, and most importantly, a sense of belonging.